31 March 2012

Same, different

Same, same, same, same, different, different, different.  (Can't remember what commercial that was from, but here are some things that fit - first things that are the same, then things that are (finally) different.)
  • Track meet today.  It was hot.
  • I became dehydrated.
  • Kids did well for the most part.  Some really impressed me.  Some performances were not so hot.  I'm tired.
  • I still felt the need to blog at the end of it all even though I am super tired.

  • Some one finally wants to buy the house I'm living in.
  • I have to move out of said house by the end of the month.
  • I have to find another place to live in less than one month so the place is cleared out by the end of the month.  Also, I have to find time to place some applications and deliver them and find a moving company because I am totally over trying to move large pieces of furniture myself - not that I am lazy, but the cost is really not that much and it is so much easier.

30 March 2012

I don't play that!

Sometimes I wonder about young people today.  Many of them seem to have some sort of a complex that leads them to believe that they are the ones that control any situation they encounter.

Yesterday, in track practice a normally calm and cool coach snapped at one of our athletes.  She approached him, stood right next to him, and proceeded to correct his directions to an athlete on how to properly take a relay handoff.  She even told the coach that he was wrong and that the way she explained it was the right way.  What she actually told the girl to do made no sense.

Today, in class, I had a student tell me that she just didn't feel like doing the assignment that was given.  She said that she would just do it after the weekend.  I told her that the assignment was for now, that we would be doing something different on Monday, and that she needed to suck it up and do the work that was in front of her.  She reluctantly filled in some of the information for the assignment.

I have several students who feel that they can just wander around the school wherever they want to.  I have had students who (before I let them know that this is not acceptable) will just walk out of class.  Others who are not in my class will sometimes just barge into class to talk with another student.

There are some teachers who must tolerate this behavior, otherwise, the students would not be doing it.

So, in their classrooms, I guess the kids run things and the students can do a lot of what they want.

I think this connects to the parenting style of some people.

There are a lot of parents who are very lenient with their children.  (My child is my best friend. WTF?!)  On several occasions I have had students receive a phone call from their parents.  In. The. Middle. Of. Class.  The student answers, because, for some reason I still think that there must be some sort of emergency for the parent to call during school hours, and the call turns out to be for some mundane thing. "No, Mom, I am staying after school today."  "Mom, I did fill in the job application." "Mom, the reason you can't get through on her phone is because her phone is cut off."  "Yes, Mom, I have my soccer socks."  And incidentals that are no reason to call your kid during school hours.

Today, I had a student tell me that since it was Ac Lab time (basically like a study hall) she could talk on her phone despite me letting her know that the rules say phones should only be out during passing periods.  She proceeded to walk into the hall and make a call to another person to talk about another girl they both seem to not like.

I proceeded to write a discipline referral.

I'm not a parent, and I can't completely judge parents, but I can say that I think it is best to be the parent and not the friend.  I think it is best to not be calling or texting your child during school hours.  Most people who are parents now did not have cell phones as much when we were younger.  Our parents survived without talking to us during school time.

I overhear these students talking about how they can do whatever they want at home.  Some of them talk about how their parents buy them alcohol, and others, smoke out with their parents (not cigarettes).  This is not an "inner-city", "minority" school.  We are in the suburbs.  We are surrounded by "affluent" homes and nice neighborhoods.

These parents seem to continue to enable their children to the point where their children become our students/athletes who think that they can manipulate their teachers and coaches the same way that they tend to do their parents.

And, I guess, it works with many of the faculty at the school.

I don't play that.

29 March 2012

New month, keep writing?

I am still debating whether to keep writing each day in the month of April.  Right now, track meets and practices are kicking my butt and I feel that is affecting my writing.

I still have a lot of ideas in my head for posts, just not enough time to put them onto the screen.

There are some ideas I have seen besides NaBloPoMo that can open me to some prompts as well as a new audience.

I'll think about it over the next day or so and make a decision.

Part of me wants to try and go each day for another month.  Part of me wants a break.

At this point, I almost don't even know what I would do each day without posting each day.  This has really become a part of my daily activities.  But, if I don't have the time to write something meaningful, I don't know that I should be writing each day just to fulfill my monthly mission.

27 March 2012

Hunger Games' fans reflect post racial society

I always find it interesting when I read a book and it becomes a film.  Sometimes the actors' portrayals of the characters is just like I imagined, sometimes it is a little off.

I have not read any of the Hunger Games books, but have heard that they are really good.

I was disturbed this morning when I heard that some fans who read the book and viewed the movie were completely disappointed (to put it nicely) that one of the characters is black in the movie.

They clearly must have skipped over the description of the character in the book as having dark skin.

Some of the Twitter comments are so disgusting and truly let people in to their inherently racist beliefs.
I know there are many people out there who think that good people are mostly white, that villains being black is the norm, that when a crime is committed in their society, it must have been a black or brown person committing the crime, etc.

Jezebel.com has an awesome post on this including some images and commentary on the tweets like the one I posted here:

What happened to the "post-racial society" people touted?  Not that I ever believed that when it was spoken about.  We live in a society where race (though a human construct) is so ingrained even in our everyday actions and everyday prejudices.

Walk down the street one day or step in an elevator and watch some people's reactions to a larger, non-smiling black man walking by or walking into the elevator.  Turn on YouTube and watch videos of little girls talking about their hatred for the black girls at their high school.

Listen in your car when you pull up to a corner and there is a black person standing there and you can hear car doors lock.  (I remember the first time I heard that when I was out for a jog in college.  Some people seriously locked the doors when I got to the corner.  As though I was going to car jack them with my running shorts, sports bra, and my only weapon - a single key to my car!)

Post-racial is becoming more and more post racial.  As in post your racist comments or push forward some racist law or do some sort of racist action.

26 March 2012

Long day short writing

Not much to write today.  Long day of school and track that started when I left the house at 6:55am and lasted until after 7:30pm when I walked back in the door, showered, cooked and ate dinner, and, then, just was exhausted.

Image source
But, I feel I must write something to continue NaBloPoMo.

I received an email to day from Blogher inviting me to join the daily blogging for April.

Part of me wants to continue since I have already been doing it for almost a month.

Another part of me wants to pass since April is the heart of track season and I am exhausted on days we have meets - 2-3 times many weeks; 4 days this week.

But, I think that I will strive on; keep on writing and, hopefully, continue to find time to write more meaningful posts than this one.

25 March 2012

Not ready for free speech

Some days, I have so much to say on this blog.  There are family issues, boyfriend issues, work issues, opinions on politics, opinions on people's opinions on politics.

But, many times, I don't write about these things.

I don't write about them because I like to use this blog as a release, but not to blast a lot of personal information.  Kind of contradictory in a way, but it is what it is.

I don't write about them because my previous blog was shut down by my former superintendant when I voiced an opinion about a person they did not hire.  The blog was found despite my lack of using my name or the school's name.

I wonder if I will be able to grow the blog without fully putting my identity out here for all.  I wonder if I would have more consistent readers if I had more pictures of me and my family - if that would make me seem more real or something.

I wonder if people's comments would help me in solving some of the things I deal with if I was to write them on here.  Or would the comments cause me to clam up and write even less of my personal information? 

I have had posts where I put my views out there.  I received some of my longest, most detailed comments on some of my viewpoints.  Some of my views have been my most read posts, but didn't receive many or any comments.

Some of my recent posts have been my deeper thoughts, and people seem to respond well, but I don't always feel comfortable sharing these with people I know IRL let alone people I have never met and have only an internet relationship with.  I do feel connected with more people on these here interwebs, though. I have regular readers, I have regular blogs that I read.  

But, I just don't know.

I may continue to self-censor, or I may be more free.  Time will tell.

This was my Stream of Consciousness Sunday post.  The prompt was: "What are some things you wish you could blog about but can't?"  

You can read about it and see links to other blog posts from today on all.things.fadra.  If you want to try, it is quite simple... 5 minutes of just your thoughts.  You can write on the prompt or just write whatever you are thinking at the time.


24 March 2012

Got to love hospitality

A beautiful day for a track meet today.

Only issue is that I want to continue with my health kick and coach hospitality is not really conducive to that.

Today, I was tempted and succumbed to a Krispy Creme glazed donut - two, half a sandwich, some generic sandwich cookies, and some chips.

Not too bad today.

My goals are to bring more of my own food, not spend my own money at meets (unless the food is too cheesy or has been sitting out too long), to stay hydrated, and to not over eat during the meets.

We'll see how I do Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and next Saturday.

23 March 2012

A touching teacher/coach moment

Today when I left the house this morning for track practice, it was rainy, and foggy, and looked like it was going to storm.  I was not looking forward to being outside for practice in the rain.

Driving into the parking lot, I saw a car that looked familiar, but that I hadn't seen since last season.

I pulled into a parking space and saw one of my former athletes talking with another coach - he was the owner of the car.  This young man was visiting our practice to see me, the other coaches, and the other kids.

Shortly after seeing him, two additional former athletes showed up.

Original image
It was great seeing the three guys; seeing them grow even more into great men who have goals and are working to meet them.  None of them are running in college, though two of them are shooting to make a team in the next school year.  All of them are making good grades, working, and adjusting well to college life.

We reminisced on fun times when they qualified for State and placed at the State meet.  Good times were had by all each season I coached them.  They talked about the difference I made in their athletic abilities.  They talked about some life lessons I taught and methods I used to get messages across.

It's rare as a teacher or a coach to have kids come back later and tell you that you made a difference in their life, or even that you mattered to them in some way or even that they liked you and learned something from you.  I love when it does happen and I love seeing former students/athletes go on to college/work and do amazing things.

This was one of those rare moments.

Shortly after we started practice, the sun came out and the weather was perfect.

22 March 2012

My killer green thumb

How bad am I at managing the lawn at the house I live?

So bad that I have already had to mow the back yard.  Not because the grass has grown long, but because the weeds have taken over and were growing so long that when I looked out back, I inevitably sang the Grandmaster Flash song, "The Message".
It's like a jungle sometimes
it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under.
It was really a jungle out.

Yesterday, I chucked out 60+ dollars on some weed killer/grass grower and some plant killer that will hopefully kill off the weeds that have over taken what used to be the rose garden.

Not even sure if you can tell that there is a rose bush in the pictures there are so many weeds!

We'll see how well I do with the application of my attempt to murder the weeds goes.  It rained today, and the directions say to apply the killer/grower on wet grass.  The plant killer, I will apply to the flower bed and, hopefully, kill everything out there since I don't even care much for the roses either.  I have been stabbed enough times trying to prune them over the years.

The only green thumb I have is the one when I am making a smoothie mixed with some spinach and some of the awesomely-tasty drink spills on my thumb as I pour it into the cup.

21 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Doll baby heads


Best. Line. Ever:
"Grown women do not smell doll baby heads!" At the 1:18 mark.

And this is the sanest of strange addictions I have seen.  Much tamer than the girl who drinks a ton of urine or the woman who drinks gasoline or the woman who drinks nail polish or the woman who eats drywall or the man who loves to be treated like a baby or the woman who has bottles of pine cleaner everywhere so she can inhale it at all times.

20 March 2012

OCD-like intervals

Today, I address the Nablopomo prompt of the day: What is something you recently made a decision about?

I recently (January) made a conscious decision to take better care of myself.  Not that I was treating myself like crap before, but I still could improve.

I am taking better care of my mind and my body.

On the body front, I have been doing more yoga each morning, eating more vegetables and fruits, and on Saturday, I decided to start running again.

I don't do running like many people.  I don't believe my body (or mind) is suited for running continuous mile upon mile.  I have done that in the past and was actual not bad at it in my college days.  I could run about three miles in under 20 minutes.

Impressive, but I don't want to do that again.

Now, I run intervals.

I warm up with a jog and then jump in to the intervals.  I do 20-30sec sprints, then I walk for a minute, and then I jog for 30 seconds and go to the sprints and repeat.  Sometimes, instead of doing it for time, I count my steps - I usually shoot from anywhere between 50 and 100 steps on the sprint, and then do the same amount of steps for the rest.  I guess this ties to my possible OCD.

I love it.

And the scenery in the parks I do it in is always a plus to the workout.

Others working out stare at me weirdly, especially as I pass them during the sprint and then they repass me during my walk, but, who cares?

I have been doing about 20 minutes total of these intervals, then I stretch and call it a day.  Two summers ago, I was doing this four days a week.

Nice and quick.

And, more of a cardio workout/calorie burn than me running the same distance at a continuous, slow pace.

19 March 2012

Why do we trust and distrust so easily?

Why do we lack so much trust in some areas of our lives and give it away so easily in other areas?

This question came to my mind after reading T. Lorraine F's post on her blog where she talked about this idea.

Yesterday, while sitting outside enjoying the weather, I saw a little girl riding her little bicycle.  Right behind her as she peddled ever so slowly was a minivan.  When the girl reached the next corner, the minivan stopped and the girl stopped and the minivan driver got out and had the girl put her bike in the trunk.  

I watched carefully to make sure this was not a kidnapping, but I could hear that they knew each other and that the mother (?) was done letting the girl ride on her own.  Was it the neighborhood?  Was it because she was test driving the bike?  Was this how she lets the girl ride all the time?  

Have we really become a society where you can't even let your child ride her bike on her own without a minder following behind her?  (What is this North Korea?)
I remember when playgrounds used to be so much fun.  Part of their appeal was the possibility of getting hurt and having a scar to show off.  Pushing the merry-go-round was a thrill because you had to be really fast and be able to hold on tight while you ran around pushing it.  Swing sets were a blast trying to swing as high as possible and jump off at just the right moment so that you would jump farther than the other kids in the competition.  Monkey bars and the flips off of them were totally rad.  They taught coordination and cooperation.  They taught you to brush your shoulders (or knees or elbows) off so that you could get back into the action.

Now playgrounds have rubber floors (literally).  The equipment has been sanitized so much that if a kid gets hurt, that child really shouldn't be out playing at all.  S/he should be wearing a helmet at all times if s/he can't handle a playground in 2012.

I was talking with a great friend the other day and he said that people care less and pay less attention the more things actually matter to them.

Think about it. 

People will sign on the dotted line for a house or a car without actually reading the fine print and knowing where their money will be going.  They click the I Agree box on websites not knowing that they could be followed or their images could be used or they could get in trouble for the way they use the site.

But they will search the internet high and low to find the best coupons for some useless item that they will hoard in their house and not really even use.  They. Will. Find. The. Best. Deal - for soap and cat food.

Politics is even worse.

People will take so much of what a politician tells them as the word without actually researching to find out if what s/he says is true or even possible.  Most of the time, the politician running for office has no way of proving what he says will be accomplished.  Most of the time, there is no game plan as to how to make it happen.  

It is a promise with no backbone. 

Yet people latch onto those promises and decide to vote for that person without even knowing if any of it is true.  This is why there are people who STILL think the current president was not born in this country.

Political-speak just sounds good.

Why do we do this?

Why do we trust those who are not really looking out for us, and distrust the simple things that we know will not do much damage?  

People who played on the old-school playgrounds are still alive and well.  Most of them are not disfigured and they may even have more of a fighting edge to their personalities because everything was not given to them so easily.

Yet, there are so many people suffering economically, socially, and medically because of things that have been voted for or supported without question in politics.

Some laws like the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida may even make it so this man can kill a 17 year old, unarmed (unless you count Skittles and tea) boy and be able to get away with it.  If you haven't heard this story, please click the previous links.

18 March 2012

How I feel about where I live

There are some things I like and some things I hate about where I live.

First, there is the actual building.  I really can't stand much about it.

It was built shoddily and has a lot of problems.  I started staying in it as my parents were trying to sell it and wanted me to look over it until the sale.  Years later, I am still in the house paying rent to them.

The neighborhood is fine.  Somewhat city-living.  I wish I was closer to the shops, but being close to the highway helps in the drive to and from work way out in the county.

I would love to live in an area that was more CITY.  I think I would love a high-rise with a view and a balcony and a workout area and in-home laundry.  Or a stand alone house with a yard, but no grass... just rocks and stones and other things that don't need to be mowed or trimmed or that fly into the gutters.

I would love to be able to walk around the corner and have access to not just a corner store, but a real grocery store and some nice restaurants and bars and activities.  I would love to live near water that is not brown and dirty.

These are my five minute thoughts on the prompt: How do you feel about where you live?

I linked up with all.things.fadra for this Stream of Consciousness Sunday post where I write my thoughts for five minutes.


17 March 2012

Resetting my physical life

Since I have been trying to reset my life and get things more on track, I decided to do more to make that happen physically.

Today, I went for a run/walk.  I only did about a mile today, but it felt ok.  I could have done more, but I did it on a track instead of a trail (I hate running on tracks!!!).  If the weather permits, I want to do it at least 4 more times during the next week, each time doing a little bit farther than the previous time.
I love running toward and past these in Tower Grove Park!
Two years ago, I was getting to be really good at these types of workouts and I was doing some lifting, and my body looked better than it had since college.

I don't anticipate that I will get back to that same body shape, but I do want to get into more physical shape.

One of the workouts I was doing two years ago only took about 20 minutes if I was on it the entire time, and I think I should be able to incorporate that into my day along with morning yoga.

Make it happen, cap'in!

16 March 2012

Fight the powers that be

He is a little early with his recognition of Spike Lee (whose birthday is actual on the 20th of March), but hey, he was born earlier than his expected delivery day, so I guess eagerness is one of his character traits.

My nephew putting one fist up and giving ode to the Lee movie Do the Right Thing and Public Enemy's "Fight the Power"!

I guess he is Occupying the Sling and fighting either in favor of or against the idea of being so dependent on adults.

15 March 2012

I've found love and I hope it lasts!

Now that we've found love what are we gonna do... with it?

One of my favorite lines from a Heavy D song.

After decades of trying to find love, I have finally achieved success.

I have suffered through so much heartache and so many uncomfortable days and nights.  I have lived through mismatched fits, pairings that people suggested for me, pairings that websites suggested for me, pairings that seemed like they would last forever, but only lasted a few months and sometimes only a few days before it was over.  There have been matches that I initially thought were perfect during the first meeting, but, after deeper consideration, I realized that we didn't click as well as I thought we did.

I had been tricked or was naive or something.

I tried different types; some types that I never imagined I would try.  None of them worked out very well.

I settled.

I gave up.

I did it all.

But, now, I have found love.

I have finally found a pair of jeans that fit my body type (or my Curve ID as Levi's calls it).  And they aren't even expensive!
If you are curvy, but athletic, you too can, perhaps, find love!
So, now that I've found love, what am I going to do with it?
  • I am going to wear my jeans and not have them gape at the waist.
  • I am going to wear belts for fashion and not so that there is no gaping at the waist.
  • I am going to sit down and not have my crack show.
  • I am going to sit down and not have to worry about pulling my shirt down to cover the crack.
  • I am going to stand AND sit and not have the fabric on my thighs be too tight to move comfortably even though the waist is huge.
  • I am going to not be flooding at the ankle; and at the same time, I will not be dragging the fabric on the heals of my shoes.
  • I am going to have jeans that fit my waist, my thighs, my calfs, and my butt - and make all look good.

I am going to be comfortable and cute in a pair of jeans!

I am going to wear the crap out of them to make up for lost time wearing not-so-great jeans!

Hopefully, this lasts, and (since the tags are off and the jeans have been washed) they will still fit well and I will still love them.

13 March 2012

Welcome to the bad girls' club

Yesterday while I had my headache caused by the lovely weather, I came home, but didn't want to nap; I am trying to adjust to the time change.

Instead of napping, I decided to sit down to some pretty pointless television since I didn't want to focus too much and didn't want to have to think too much.

I channel surfed to the ultimate in mindless television watching.

I landed on The Bad Girls' Club.

If you have never seen it, the basic gist is that there are about 8 girls who live in a house (kind of like Real World) and they are all supposedly the badest of their city.  They fight (physically and verbally), they do mean things to each other, they are just bad girls.

In the several episodes that I saw (it was a marathon) there were two girls who made it their mission to get rid of the new girl.  She had not done anything to them, but they felt that since they said they would make any new girl leave, that they had to be true to their word.  They poured french dressing mixed with honey mustard into her suitcases, they threw her mattress into the pool, they pulled her hair, fought her and more.  When other house mates bought the girl a new mattress, the two girls took it outside and poured all sorts of food including eggs and various sauces and condiments on the mattress.  Disgusting.

There was lots of drinking and a girl who was really into a guy, but got so drunk that she ended up assaulting him and didn't know it until the housemates told her the next morning.

There was so much drama, it made a day of teaching seem like a breeze.

Each morning before going off to teach, I wake up and make my lunch for the day as I get my breakfast ready.  Today was no different.

However, when I took my turkey sandwich out and was about to slice half an avocado onto the just heated meat and bread, I realized something was missing.

I had made a turkey sandwich sans turkey.

I've often heard people say that some television shows make people stupider.  I always thought it was a joke.

Until today at lunch.

12 March 2012

Beautiful day, ugly pain

Today it was a lovely, joyous 83 degrees in the StL.


Coaching today was lovely -  some kids did really well, and even if they didn't, the weather was fabulous.

Unfortunately, even now, 5 hours after practice, I am still suffering from a headache that the sun induced.

I was dehydrated all day, and that did not help matters.  Neither did my visor that covered the front of my head, but not the sides where the sun just blasted my eyes.

I still enjoyed the weather, but am currently drinking water and searching for a fabulous, kinda too cute, not too fisherman-looking, breathable, water resistant wide brimmed hat so that I don't suffer from headaches on long meet days and sunny practice days.

Kind of digging this one from Athleta...

11 March 2012

Disney ruined my dream life

I am sorry to say, but I have given up on some of the dreams that I had as a younger person.  

I know that some would say that I am still young and that there is still time, but is there?  Is it still possible to do all the things I wanted to do in the way that I wanted to do them?  Is there still a chance for me to leave some sort of legacy on the world?

I know that there have been many young adults who have come to me after their high school times to tell me that I had an influence on them while they were in my classes.  That is great, it makes me feel wonderful.  

But I wanted to be more than just a teacher.  I want to be more than just a coach, too.

These things are just small parts of all that I wanted to do in my life.  

I don't even want to put all of my past goals/desires into words because it is really quite disappointing that I have not completed most of them.  I know, though, that some of their lack of completion is all on me.

I sometimes get in my own way and that is a huge detriment to my progress.

And that is why I am working to change my mindset this year.  

Maybe there is still some hope for some of my dreams to come true.  I blame Disney and that damn "the dreams that you wish will come true" BS for my high hopes.  I guess they made me believe that I didn't need to put in work to make them happen.  Some great man would come a long and everything I ever wanted would come true. 


Unfortunately, I am independent-minded and just dreaming doesn't work.  At all.

Topic for today's Stream of Consciousness Sunday prompt:  Have you reached the prime of your life? What do you want to be your legacy?

If you want to join in or see others who wrote for fadra's site, click the link.

Rules are that you write for five minutes with whatever comes to your head, either addressing the prompt or writing about whatever comes up.


10 March 2012

Versatile Blogger Award to... ME!

I've been really thinking about my blog and where it is going; wondering if I have readers who get anything out of my writing - whether knowledge or entertainment.  This week, that thought has been in my head more than usual.  I have been wanting to do more so that I can gain more readers and perhaps move to bigger writing at different locations.

So it was really, just in time that I received some recognition from a fellow blogger.  I was given the Versatile Blogger Award from Dawn who writes Alphabet Salad.

I know it's not a Pulitzer, but it is really meaningful and helps me feel good that people I've never met read and like what they read enough to acknowledge my blog.

Dawn is a writer who I've been reading a lot since joining NaBloPoMo.  She continues to grow and has received some great accolades from BlogHer as well as from other bloggers.  So, it really means a lot that she selected me for this award.  Thank you, Dawn.

Now that I've been recognized, here are my duties:
  • Share 7 completely random pieces of information about myself.
  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
Some random facts (don't judge):
  1. I sometimes count my foot steps as I walk.  Inside my head.  Not all the time, but for some reason I tend to do it when I go into the basement or go up or down different stairs.  I thought it might be a competition or something where I try to beat a personal record, but I don't think this is true since I don't try to beat the previous number when I do this.  Perhaps, it is a bit of OCD coming out or something.
  2. I am loving Nature's Valley granola bars in my oatmeal in the morning! I break up two packages and pour them in the oatmeal.  I don't put any other toppings or sugars in there, just the granola, which tastes good enough that I have been eating eat almost every morning for almost a year.  
  3. I have always loved the small cars people outside of the US drive.  I finally have a Mini Cooper and feel more connected to the international community I hope to one day move into.
  4. I am a source of so many random pieces of information it is insane.  I once even rocked out at a lawyers' trivia night and answered some of the legal questions that the lawyers at my table did not know.  I used to read the medical magazines my father would leave on the table and was able to have some serious medical conversations about brain functions with him that, at the time, my medical school attending sisters were not fully grasping.  I guess this comes from different conversations I have, from watching a lot of educational television, from reading a lot, and from listening to talk radio.  I've been told (especially after posts like this one and the posts I did on my siblings in February of this year) that I should use this knowledge, researching ability, and writing style to move myself into a bigger form of public writing.
  5. I am a super sarcastic person.  I need to enroll in a 12-step program.  Writing this blog is one way that I am trying to ease back on my sarcasm.  I don't use it a lot in my writing since it doesn't translate well when I am not heard.  But, when I talk with friends and in my job, I get caught up in the moment and I can't help my sarcasm reigning supreme.  The other day at practice a coach came up to me after I was instructing the athletes on something and said that he and another coach had been standing on the side commenting on my incredibly humorous sarcasm.  Problem was that I didn't even realize that I had been spouting the sarcasm while I was talking with the kids.
  6. I love the light timers in my house.  I have one in the kitchen and one in the living room and it makes going to bed so much easier.  I don't have to worry about turning off the light and then walking through the area in the dark and bumping into something.  I have the kitchen one set to go off earlier than the living room one which is set to go off about an hour after the time I should be sleeping on weekdays. 
  7. I'm so lactose intolerant that I don't even like to eat dairy in public for fear of what it might do to me.  There are some dairy products that I know the brands and what they do to my body, Papa John's pizza is fine.  So is Breyer's ice cream.  One day at school I discovered that the mac and cheese one of the ladies made was no good for me.  I had to go home since I don't like public restrooms.
Now to pay it forward to some fellow bloggers.  These blogs are all unique and cover a wide range of life areas and topics.  Some I have been following for a long time, some I have discovered during the past two+ months of NaBloPoMo writing and posting.  On some I try to comment pretty regularly, on some I am a lurker who reads but does not really comment.  All of these, I enjoy!

I hope you check them out and enjoy some of what you see on these versatile blogs.

09 March 2012

No work, but not much play either

No work today.

I also cancelled practice so that I could have the only true day off that I will have until the end of May.

After this weekend, practices will happen each day (even over Spring Break) and starting 2 Saturdays from now, I will not have a free Saturday.  Those Saturdays will start at around 6:30 so I can go to track meets that will last until around 5 outside in whatever elements StL weather has to offer.

What am I doing on this break day?  Something ever so exciting and luxurious, right?


Very mundane, but still relaxing and fruitful.

  • Sleeping in
  • Longer yoga session than normal
  • Catching up on bills
  • Reading various blogs online to gather ideas of what I want to do with this one
  • Catching up on DVR'd shows
  • Watching the cheesiness of daytime television
  • Going to the UPS store to return some clothes I bought online (haven't been able to do that since I work until 6 each day)
  • Going grocery shopping so I don't have to do so on Sunday
  • Making and enjoying an awesome smoothie
  • Planning classes for next week so that I won't have to do so on Saturday or Sunday this weekend
  • Spending time with some friends

I will enjoy this day and will look forward to more relaxing days after the season is over.

08 March 2012

I think I want to be a bigger writer

I have written each day since the start of the year.

I think that I need to take more time to reach out to the blogging community because I see others who have just begun blogging and have large readerships and some of them even have sponsors and guest writers.  I have been keeping fairly to myself and writing just my thoughts and have none of those things.

I sometimes imagine a life where I can make a living writing and could therefore live anywhere in the world.

Perhaps, I need to start working on making that happen.

I am going to peruse the blogs I love and that I have seen grow and look at who/where they are connected and see if I can do some of the same.   I know that all of my posts are not super-meaningful, but I think I can be at least a little entertaining at times, and can provide insight at other times, and can just provide beautiful images/quotes/ideas at other times.  The few people that do read my blog seem to have decent things to say about my writing and my ideas, so I must be doing something decently.

Off to grow ideas and research if it is possible to grow into a more fulfilled writer.

07 March 2012

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Nail care and scratches

Practice yesterday - chipped a nail; yesterday evening - neglected to file nail smooth; last night in bed - scratched a chunk out of my nose; this morning - stopped by drug store to buy nail kit I can carry around and fix chips

06 March 2012

Maybe a fighting career is not for me

When I finished college track, I still looked for some sort of competition, some way to stay in shape and show off how great shape I was in.

For a while, I considered joining the St. Louis Slam (woman's football team).  They were really good and I knew the man who was the coach and loved his coaching ability and style.

That idea faded away.

Then I wanted to get into some sort of martial arts.  I looked at muay tai, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and more.

That looked really promising.  And I have pretty pointy elbows that I just know could do some damage to the side of an opponents head.  I was in pretty good cardio shape and was really strong, so it was just a matter of learning the skills.

That along with being able to take a punch.  And a kick.  And be able to handle pain and still fight through it.

But, I'm a woman.  And I believe that the fact that we have ovaries (and all that comes with them) makes us able to stand a lot more pain than your typical man.

Even though I am in my thirties now, I still some times dance with the idea of fighting as a way to make a living.

This past weekend I watched a Strikeforce match between "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

Rousey was the challenger and Tate the reigning champion.  Prefight there was some trash talking and some getting in faces.

This made for some animosity prior to the fight and some predictable commentary.

The prefight stats come up and I see that the ladies are in some really good shape and comparable in size.  (Though much shorter than me and about the weight I was when I was in shape and competing in track.)

The fight begins.

They throw punches like they really mean it and Rousey gets Tate in an arm bar.  Tate is able to some how get out of the arm bar (something I have seen few men do in similar fights).


The fight goes on.  The commentators mention that Rousey has never had a fight prior to this one that lasted more than one minute into the first round.

Later in the first round Rousey puts Tate into another arm bar.

Tate again tries to get out of it, but Rousey keeps at her arm.

She keeps tightening it and pulling it and pulling it and tightening it, and even twisting it a bit.

But the reigning champion refuses to tap out of the fight and end it.  She keeps trying to turn out of the arm bar like she did earlier in the fight.

Soon enough, I gasp.

It takes a lot to  disturb my insides and make chills run through my arms.

Rousey made all of this happen.

She had Tate in such an incredible arm bar (that Tate refused to submit to) that Tate's arm is bent in a way that is not even fathomable.  (I'm not sure the picture really does it justice.)

If you take your arm and hold it parallel to the ground and let the arm flop at your elbow so that it is at a 90 degree angle... that is how her arm was bent.

Only difference is that hers was bent backward.

I give it up for both women.  Rousey was unbelievable in her fighting, and Tate never gave up until her elbow was completely dislocated or broken.

If I ever needed something to convince me that maybe, just maybe, this sort of competition is not for me.  It was Tate's elbow.

I guess, I'll stick with my yoga and the occasional body weight exercises.

05 March 2012

Let's step up our communication game together

There are so many things wrong with how people communicate.  I know that I am not the best communicator; I have accepted that, and am working on the things I know I can improve upon.

Part of my improvement is due to the fact that I have been told some of my faults - sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly - and I want to work to be better than I was yesterday.

I guess, we as a society, need to become better at letting people know what is not ok so they know they need to improve.

I have had students who have come to my classes using texting-speech in formal writing.  I am fine if they do this when they take notes, but directly inform them that that is not the way to write in a formal setting.

I have received emails from superiors (especially at my old school) that were so incoherent and full of errors that it really made me lose respect for the person.

Friends have told me that this is not just a problem in education jobs.

The other night at dinner, brother-from-another-mother told tales of having to edit valedictorians' papers in college.  These papers were so horrible that Bio had put so many red marks on the paper that he decided to stop at page two or three because he was starting to feel bad for his friend.

And, rightly so, he was questioning how this person who wrote so poorly could have been a valedictorian.

Bio also had stories of emails he has received at work that were many lines long, but had no punctuation besides commas.  No periods, no semicolons, nothing but commas.  Just a really long, run-on sentence (or perhaps it was more of a marathon-sentence).

Bio's father, a sociology professor, said he has received assignments turned in where college students wrote 'RU' for 'are you' on formal assignments.  I have seen high schoolers write the same way and have let them know that this is not ok.  (By the way, aren't formal essays not supposed to be written in second person?)

Kid Sis #3 had the kicker for the night.

She said that earlier in the afternoon, someone at her workplace had given a presentation that consisted of repeated grammatical errors on a PowerPoint.  She wrote down, verbatim, what the woman wrote and said in her presentation.  (As you view the picture, also note the remnants of the delicious Oreo cheesecake in the background.)

Bio, #3, and I decided that we might let 'laision' slide since it is a foreign language and may cause a lot of other people difficulty.

Plus, there is so much more that is wrong with this picture.

So many questions:
  • Why does she work for a company that focuses on engineering work, and she can't spell the word?
  • Why does she not use spell check on her presentations?
  • If she does use spell check, did she override the correction and add 'engenerring' to the dictionary?
  • Why did she really think it was ok to say 'conformaning' out loud?
  • How has she gotten so far not knowing how to spell these basic words?
  • How has she gotten so far not knowing that the word is 'conforming' and not 'conformaning'?
  • What was everyone thinking as she repeatedly had these terms on the slides she presented?
  • Did some one approach her afterward, pull her aside, and correct her, or are they going to continue to have to deal with this sort of spelling and presenting for many more presentations?
I know I am not the most perfect writer (I'm sure this post has some errors that I overlooked).  But I am trying.

I'm really going to need people to step up their game when it comes to communication.

And I need people to step up their game to help others know what they can improve with their communication so they don't write like they are texting.

Then maybe they will be 'conformaning' better to their surroundings.

04 March 2012

I don't trust people I work with

Where are you lacking trust in your life?

I don't know that I truly trust anyone that I work with.

I really mean that.

Last year, I had the most random people asking me about the horizontal move I hadn't even completely confirmed after I had only asked a few questions and told about three people about my idea.  I mention a conversation I have with a student or a colleague to one or two people and pretty soon it is practically headline news in the school.

I have a colleague who told one other person something that was going on in her classroom and in their next department meeting it was brought up in front of all 15+ members of the department.

Another colleague is thinking of starting a business (not quitting her teaching job), mentioned it during lunch and has started selling her product to some people.  Now people in the other departments of the school are asking if it is true that she is going to be leaving the HS.

I slipped up a bit at the start of the year sharing some personal information with some colleagues because they seem genuine.  And perhaps they are.  I wanted to share with the new bunch I was working with.  But, now some of what I said is sometimes brought up and sometimes used to judge something else that I am doing.  I don't dislike them.  I just try to keep everything business these days.  If I am going to be doing something extra, I know not to let it be known to people until the time is right.  I try not to talk about outside of school things with people at work.

Most of the people are nice.  A lot of the people are just really gossipy.

Work is work.

Outside of work is outside of work.

I think that my last school was truly an anomaly.

I will never again work with a group of truly genuine, truly awesome ladies and gentleman.  Most of us started there together, were able to hang outside of school together, were able to share without wondering if things would get to the wrong person who would then hear the message, I believe we were friends inside and outside of the school.  I loved chilling in the Humanities Office!  And so many great happy hours!  I wish we could all work together again at a different place.

I miss our days together.

But, I am glad we have all left that facility and have been able to use the challenges that came with that place to make us better people and better people in education.

But I doubt that I will have that sort of experience again.

I only hope that one day there will not be such a prevalent lack of trust for the teachers and administrators that I call my colleagues.
Who do you trust?! Hubba, hubba, hubba!

Though maybe it is better this way; it keeps me on my toes about what I say and who is around when I say it.

I always picture people I'm not quite certain about reciting the Jack Nicholson Joker quote when they begin talking with me.  "And, now, folks, it's time for Who Do You Trust!  Hubba, hubba, hubba! Money, money, money!  Who do you trust? Me?"

The question at the start of this post is from all.things.fadra.  Today is Sunday.  I have been absent from Stream of Consciousness Sunday for two weeks, but am back on it today.  Click the link or the badge to learn more about this five minute writing process.


03 March 2012

Dodging practice

A few days ago the weather fabulous!  I believe it was close to 70.  Friday morning it was still pretty nice when I left for work.

As I drove north to school, the clouds opened up.  It even started hailing a bit.

By the time practice arrived, it was in the 40s, winds were high and the windchill was in the low 30s.

What a difference a day made, right?

Practice went the same way.

The previous days were nice, but on Friday, I had over 20 athletes not in attendance.  Some maybe assumed that we didn't have practice (I haven't given the track-practice-is-never-cancelled speech yet).

Others, perhaps skipped out to get ready for a school sponsored event that evening.

What was that event?


Yeah, I don't understand why they would need to prep for that, either.

I don't punish kids with running since that is part of our sport, but the place where we practice has some wonderfully steep, fairly long hills that will welcome some lunges and bear crawls.

For at least 45 minutes.

Their legs will be begging for some running.

And they will wish they had dodged that missed practice.

02 March 2012

My kids are maturing faster than NeNe Leakes

The other day I was watching RHOA.  I haven't seen the show at all this season until these episodes where the ladies went to South Africa.

I was not surprised to see the regular tomfoolery arise despite the ladies vow to keep beef at bay.

What was pleasantly shocking was NeNe Leakes standing up and trying to stop two ladies from arguing loudly and aggressively with each other.  In her commentary she said that it was really awful to watch them screaming at each other and that for the first time, she realized how ridiculous she looks when she is arguing with people.

I'm not really sure why it took her so far into her adult life to know that as a grown woman she looks crazy yelling and screaming and sometimes even swinging on other grown women, but at least she finally had this belated revelation.

Perhaps, she can soon realize that she shouldn't take 10 full-sized suitcases with her when she travels for 10 days.  Or maybe that she should wear appropriate shoes instead of 4" stilettos when going on safari.

Today in school, there were two girls who got into a verbal altercation over some drama.

It was really great to have two girls trying to keep them apart and prevent it from becoming physical.

It was even better that the two girls breaking it all up were girls who were usually the ones in who are in the middle of intense verbal fights.

Even better that these kids have started this change so much sooner than NeNe.

01 March 2012

LyzaDora the Artist is amazing in many ways

Yesterday, as I scanned through updates on FB, I came across one that really touched me in both a positive and a negative way at the same time.

Not only do I have a brother-from-another-mother(and father), I also have two sisters-from-another-mister(and missus).  I love them to death.  I don't see or talk with them nearly as much as I think about them, but they hold a large place in my heart.  I have so many happy memories of them and even now, years after we have lived in the same city, when we get together again, there are joyous moments and inside jokes that abound and keep us laughing almost incessantly.

LyzaDora is such an amazing person.  From a young age, she was always making me laugh with her antics, stories, and just cool persona.

As she has gotten older, I have truly come to admire her for her academic success, her still being super cool, and especially for her career aspirations.

She has become such a successful make-up artist/hair stylist/wardrobe stylist that she has worked at major national events and worked on major celebrities.  She is working on her own studio and continues to grow and do bigger and better things.

She is stunning visually with and without makeup.

This is why I was saddened by the FB post from her sister yesterday.
Looking at my sister's accomplishments and in tears thinking of all the mean kids in elementary and especially middle school that bullied her because she looked different or wasn't as developed as they thought she should be. I wish they could see the Swan she has become. I wish 12 year old Lyzadora saw the 29 year old Lyzadora. I wish all the 12 year old "Lyzadora's" could see their 29 year old selves. I'm so proud of my sister.
It is so horrible that so many young girls who look different than what "the masses" deem beautiful go through periods of low self-image. 

On Oprah's Oscar Special, Viola Davis said that she is just now feeling comfortable enough in her own skin to feel beautiful - that she was put down by so many people (even while in the biz) that she had low self-esteem about her appearance.  Her husband had to convince her to let her natural hair shine and not wear a wig to cover it in public.  Her husband had to convince her that she deserved to be treated well.

It is so awful that society can have this affect on people.  

I have suffered this, too.  As a kid, I was called so many negative names that sometimes still pop into my head.  Even though some told me that I would be beautiful when I became older, that does not really mean much to an adolescent.

The FB post made me sad for these reasons.  Also because, I don't think that I personally have ever told LyzaDora to her face that she is among the most beautiful people I have had the visual pleasure of seeing.  Yes, I have liked some images on FB, and have commented positively about some pictures, but I have never told her so she can hear it with her own ears.  I never told her when she was young, either.

Seeing her grow inspires me to want to do more of this verbal uplifting and I have strived to do this with young girls I teach and coach.  I don't want them to think that their looks are everything, but I also want them to know that just because they don't look like "the masses" that people typically consider beautiful, there are a ton of people in other parts of the world who are considered beautiful that they share features with.  I know many may not believe me, but perhaps their older selves will look understand and become more confident and successful.

The post delighted me because she is truly a swan who continues to develop more and more into an even more wonderful woman in more than just her beauty.

I cannot wait until either I go down to Houston and see her in person again, or she comes up for her brother's graduation in May so that I can see her again.

I hope that at some point, if she hasn't done so yet, she will see the old bullies and naysayers and simply tell them, "Google me, baby!" so they can see all her accomplishments and all the great work and beauty she has shared with the world.

LyzaDora is more than a fabulous artist, she is an amazing, inspiring person who moves me (even from afar) with her compassion, her genius, her laughter, and her spirit.